IT may fairly be said that all authorities concerned with classical antiquity are agreed that of all ancient sites, without any exception, Herculaneum promises to yield the richest treasure to the excavator. The reasons for this belief in no, way rest upon the intrinsic importance of Herculaneum in the ancient world. It was a colony of no great prominence in the period when Greek culture was actively predominant in the Mediterranean basin; while in the Roman period it cannot claim to have been a provincial town of large size or influence.1 In this respect it cannot compare in any sense with such sites as Athens or Rome, Delphi or Olympia, Alexandria or Pergamon, nor with any of the cities of historical importance in Greece or Asia Minor, nor with the numerous centres of wealth and culture in Magna Graecia and Sicily.
Nevertheless the excavator has every reason to believe that the artistic treasure to be found, and the intellectual harvest to be reaped, in the thorough excavation of Herculaneum will be greater and more valuable than in any ancient site, including even the great centres mentioned above.____________________
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Publication information: Book title: Herculaneum, Past, Present & Future. Contributors: Charles Waldstein - Author, Leonard Shoobridge - Author. Publisher: MacMillan. Place of publication: London. Publication year: 1908. Page number: 1.
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